The following contains spoilers for My Adventures with Superman Episode 7, "Kiss Kiss Fall in Portal," now streaming on HBO Max.
Considering its importance to The Man of Steel's mythology, it was only a matter of time before My Adventures with Superman brought kryptonite into the mix. Season 1, Episode 7, "Kiss Kiss Fall in Portal," slips the toxic metal into the end of a very busy episode. That goes against the grain for the show so far -- My Adventures with Superman thrives on splashy entrances for new figures -- but it also feels strangely right.
Indeed, "Kiss Kiss" adds kryptonite to the new series with enough elegance to make any other approach feel clumsy. Everyone knows what it is and what it does, even non-comics fans. The episode responds by taking that at face value, then tying it into its larger narrative.
Kryptonite Is a Core part of Superman's Identity
My Adventures with Superman ranges far afield when it comes to many of The Man of Steel's villains. Every week it seems, a new member of Superman's rogues gallery appears in a radically different form: imaginative and faithful in spirit, but very much a part of the show's anime universe. Clark himself, however, stays more or less true to the basics. He's a farm boy from Kansas starting life as a reporter, his outfit and powers are variations on the traditional versions, and he must navigate the necessity of a secret identity with his friends and co-workers.
That package apparently includes kryptonite, which has been a part of the character since it was unveiled in a 1943 broadcast of The Adventures of Superman radio serial. Shards of radioactive metal from Superman's home planet made the perfect counter to his seeming invulnerability, and soon morphed into different colored variations with bizarre powers. The concept became so well-known that it's now shorthand for any weakness for any seemingly invulnerable figure, real or imagined.
My Adventures with Superman Delivers Classic Kryptonite with a Twist
"Kiss Kiss" doesn't mess with the formula when it comes to kryptonite: it's green, it glows, and it will kill Superman if he spends enough time around it. Lois finds it in the fortress of The League of Lois Lanes, a group of variants who work to protect the Multiverse from cosmic threats. The show's version of Mister Mxyzptlk helps her understand the reasons why in a surprisingly chilling conclusion: no small number of the variant Clark Kents out there are destructive forces of evil.
The narrative twist gets the episode out of another lugubrious explanation for the mineral. With the Multiverse in play, it can simply produce the kryptonite and let audiences make the leap for themselves. Considering how little Clark understands about his powers -- and how closely he cleaves to traditional incarnations of the character -- it simply saves time.
Instead, it lets the storyline serve as the twist, as Lois ends up with the green shard instead of a supervillain. Granted, Mxyzptlk stirs the pot a bit, but otherwise it's hers to do with as she pleases. Yet with the likes of Amanda Waller and The Parasite eager to take Superman down a notch -- and with Lois herself suddenly filled with doubts about Clark's motives -- it imbues the kryptonite with a great deal of potential. Once word gets out, the show's villains will likely come for her, to say nothing of what might happen if she decides that Clark is a danger to others. None of it needs further embellishment, leading My Adventures with Superman to keep the metal's introduction quiet and understated. Like so much of what the show does, it feels perfect.
New episodes of My Adventures with Superman stream every Thursday on Adult Swim, and every Friday on Max.